By Oliver Kazunga
AFRICA’S richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote closed last year US$4,3 billion richer as his fortune continued to grow on the back of investments in cement, flour and sugar industries.
The 62-year-old Nigerian whose Dangote Group has expressed extending interests in Zimbabwe ended the year with a net worth of almost $15 billion, making him the 96th wealthiest man in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Recently, the Dangote Group expressed interest to invest US$1,5 billion in Zimbabwe’s power generation, coal mining and cement production.
“Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, became US$4,3 billion richer in 2019 as his fortune continued to grow on the back of investments in cement, flour and sugar,” reads part of a statement distributed by a leading communications firm, APO Group.
Born into a wealthy Muslim family of traders in the north, Mr Dangote incorporated his own business selling cement at the age of 21.
“He shifted to manufacturing the building material in the 1990s, helped by government policies that encouraged ways to reduce the need for imports.
“His critics still accuse him of taking advantage of his closeness to the government to gain an unfair market advantage, a claim he has repeatedly dismissed.
“His conglomerate, Dangote Industries, includes the biggest cement company on the continent, the Lagos-listed Dangote Cement Plc,” it said.
This year is projected to be a significant one for the billionaire, who is close to completing one of the world’s largest oil refineries in Nigeria.
The plant has the capacity to meet more than Nigeria’s entire fuel consumption and could transform an economy that presently imports all its refined product needs.
The group is also constructing a fertiliser factory on the same site. The Chronicle